The Senegalese star Hip hop artist Akon will soon begin mining copper and cobalt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A company led by American-Senegalese R&B singer Akon has signed a deal to finance a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a joint venture with a state miner, according to a contract published by the mines ministry.
The Grammy-nominated singer, known for hit songs like “Don’t Matter” and “Smack That,” has launched a number of business and philanthropic ventures across Africa in recent years, including a $6 billion futuristic city in Senegal and a cryptocurrency called Akoin.
Akon’s foray into Congo’s mining sector comes through a U.S.- registered firm called White Waterfall LLC, of which he is the president and CEO, according to contracts published on the mines ministry website.
One of the contracts, dated Dec. 14 and signed by Akon, whose legal name is Aliaune Thiam, commits White Waterfall to paying a $2 million signing bonus and financing a feasibility study of the Kimono reserve in Haut Katanga province.
White Waterfall is a private equity fund that invests in mining companies that are not publicly traded, according to its website. The site does not list the company’s investors or any investments.
Perhaps not a surprise as Akon has already publicly spoken about his interest in and admiration for DRC.
One of the contracts reportedly signed the Grammy-nominated singer on December 14 of last year, reveals a commitment of White Waterfall to pay a $2 million signing bonus and to finance a feasibility study of the Kimono reserve in Haut Katanga province.
Akon, his team and his company representatives are yet to fully open up to the public and international media about the project — apparently the most recent in a string of business and philanthropic moves on the African continent over the last decade.
The $6 billion futuristic Akon City in Senegal and a cryptocurrency called Akoin are two of the more popular ventures that Akon has launched.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is Africa’s top producer of copper and the world’s leading miner of cobalt.
The country has suffered considerable economic exploitation for its abundant natural resources at the hands of Western entities. Several instances of human rights violations have garnered relative international mediatic attention and few others in the grand scope of the happenings have led to actual legal proceedings where justice was served.
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